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Do visual only members need a magazine?


NGC 1502
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I’ve just read through the thread that discusses what astronomy magazine is best.

As a visual only astronomer I’ve given up on magazines.  I get all the information that I need from-  in-the-sky.org

I fully appreciate that many of you get great enjoyment and value from magazines, if so that’s great👍  Anyone have their thoughts on this?

Edit-  I’ve looked at in-the-sky.org  and was “horrified” to see the “horoscope” 😡😡 info.  Apologies just ignore that bit!!

Edited by NGC 1502
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I think a visual only magazine would be great but would probably be a bit too niche to make any money! I do get Astronomy Now, mainly to offer something different it sit down and read, although they do offer some interesting visual targets each month. You can’t beat SGL as a rich source of equipment reviews and observing reports for visual astronomers. I can also highly recommend the Actual Astronomy Podcast - Chris and Shane release a new programme each week and it’s purely about visual observing and is very entertaining - a bit like going down the pub with your favourite Astronomy friends! 🙂

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Thanks Rob for the mention of the Actual Astronomy Podcast👍
Agreed that a visual only magazine would likely not be financially viable.

For me the very best magazine ever was the early copies of Sky & Telescope.  I keep some of them from the 60s, 70s and 80s, just so nostalgic to read how it once was!  Not saying that S&T is bad now, but it is VERY different.

For everyone- please enjoy your magazine(s) of choice😊

Ed.

 

 

Edited by NGC 1502
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Hi Ed

I agree with you on Magazines for Visual Only, but they do offer insight into the Science and Space exploration that goes on as well
as talking about the Dark Art of Astro Imaging etc.

Until this year I was a regular to Sky at Night and Astronomy Now, both subscriptions have now lapsed.
Due mainly to the fuller focus on imaging and imaging equipment, but an indicator of the times I think.

I will say you still got the Binocular Tour and Other observing parts of Sky at Night, but I wanted more and that more are now online,
the many online resources are now my point of reference, but if it was on paper, well that would be wonderful.

Alan

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There is "The Deep-Sky Observer" produced by the Webb Society - www.Webbdeepsky.com .  This is primarily a visual focused magazine but it contains many images as well. 

The Webb Society also publishes a number of handbooks on visual observations of particular classes of object.

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3 hours ago, Oldfort said:

There is "The Deep-Sky Observer" produced by the Webb Society - www.Webbdeepsky.com .  This is primarily a visual focused magazine but it contains many images as well. 

The Webb Society also publishes a number of handbooks on visual observations of particular classes of object.




Indeed the Webb Deep-Sky Society has its roots in visual observing, but has drifted somewhat in its main focus.  I’m a member of the WDSS and the last issue included an article by myself-  How to star hop to G1 (Mayall 2).  G1 is the brightest (or least dim!) globular cluster on the outskirts of M31 galaxy.

Ed.

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Difficult question...

I'm not sure about the relative merits of paper magazines versus electronic, but there is something to be said for something physical that you can hold in your hand, toss in your briefcase, doesn't need batteries, etc.

When I first became interested in astro, I think S&T was the only game in town.  I agree it's a very different animal now and those early editions do hold quite a bit of nostalgia.    I subscribed to S@N for a year or two, but being in the US, the magazine usually arrived almost a month late so I dropped it in favor of occasionally buying it and AN locally (when available).  I'm strictly visual and I do like the content, especially the observing guides and equipment reviews.

Society for Popular Astro has a magazine, but I've never seen a copy.  (I am a Webb member.)

In-the-sky has a lot of good info, especially their sky charting, but I lean a bit more toward theskylive.com if I'm doing online planning.

 

 

 

Edited by jjohnson3803
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On 21/09/2022 at 13:40, NGC 1502 said:




Indeed the Webb Deep-Sky Society has its roots in visual observing, but has drifted somewhat in its main focus.  I’m a member of the WDSS and the last issue included an article by myself-  How to star hop to G1 (Mayall 2).  G1 is the brightest (or least dim!) globular cluster on the outskirts of M31 galaxy.

Ed.

And very useful indeed :thumbsup:

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On 21/09/2022 at 13:40, NGC 1502 said:




Indeed the Webb Deep-Sky Society has its roots in visual observing, but has drifted somewhat in its main focus.  I’m a member of the WDSS and the last issue included an article by myself-  How to star hop to G1 (Mayall 2).  G1 is the brightest (or least dim!) globular cluster on the outskirts of M31 galaxy.

Ed.

as the editor of DSO and president of the Webb Soc  am interested to know in what way you think the magazine has drifted. In general I can only publish what I get and we have never tried to be a beginners magazine, there are plenty of those. We have never tried to include imaging article, unless they are part of a project.

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11 hours ago, icpn said:

as the editor of DSO and president of the Webb Soc  am interested to know in what way you think the magazine has drifted. In general I can only publish what I get and we have never tried to be a beginners magazine, there are plenty of those. We have never tried to include imaging article, unless they are part of a project.


Firstly I want to sincerely apologise for my very clumsy comment.

I should not have said the Deep Sky Observer has drifted.  What I was clumsily alluding to was this-  I joined the Webb Society because I expected zero imaging in DSO.  I’m not against imaging and respect the hard work and dedication involved and the images that appear in DSO.  But imaging is not the way I do my astronomy.  The DSO remains a good way visual astronomers can share what they do.

I realise that the work of an editor is to edit the input Webb members submit. Many visual observers have drifted into imaging over the years, therefore that’s what they submit.

My observing includes solar system and I rely solely from online sources for information. Very obviously I would not expect DSO magazine to include that.

I’m hoping this explains my ill thought out comment.

Ed.

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I was an avid buyer of Sky at Night Mag for two years , but in the end the interest in the mag waned a bit ... as a mainly visual only astronomer i used to get a kick out of reading about celestial events etc but now i find the mags full of advertising and niche areas of astronomy that do not directly relate to " where i am " in the hobby . For instance , the afore mentioned Sky at Night Mag , where i tend to only  concentrate on the letters page and reviews section . Also with YouTube playing a much bigger part when it comes to reviews of scopes and EPs etc i find myself using that media more and more . Also , the astronomy apps on smartphones are brilliant and give info in real time of celestial events . I do still take an interest in the Sky at Night program and their monthly report of what to look out for in the coming month on YouTube , but , alas , not the magazine anymore . If i can mention this site , SGL, not to get any favour , but there is an awful lot of good information to be gleaned from a site such as this , and others . I still buy mags occassionally but certainly not for the glossy photos that adorn the covers, which basically say to me , "look at what you could see if you take a photo " , i am still happy to see the grey smudge in the EP .  

 

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3 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

"look at what you could see if you take a photo " , i am still happy to see the grey smudge in the EP .  

That made me chuckle, and a very true comment in my view.
Smudges are rewarding and how much of a smudge you see can be most variable indeed.

 

 

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+1 for the grey smudge comment! @Stu1smartcookieI'm also primarily visual - the reason I got into the practical side of the hobby was partly to enjoy relaxing nights simply looking and thinking about the significance of those "fuzzy patches". I do dabble a little with planetary AP but no real intention to go down that particular expense trap just yet - although it might be a slippery slope :-D.  On the topic here, I subscribe to both S@N and AN and really enjoy it when the latest issues come through the post - Like many here I consume a lot of info online but I still prefer a physical hard copy (much like with books) and actually find that both magazines offer a lot for visual observers - both DSO and planetary. AN in particular covers in detail possible monthly visual targets and how best to view them, which I enjoy reading and learning from. The "at a glance" observing calendar in S@N is also handy and I frequently refer to this. It's an accessible read although as others have alluded to, the AP sections are extensive and currently I tend to not read the astro processing guides for example. This hobby is broad enough to cater for all interests, and to be honest I think the two magazines here do a good job of covering the breadth - separate magazines for purely visual would possibly dilute the overall impact?

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Agree with both of the above.....:smiley:

I stopped taking magazines years ago, they contain nothing that interests me that I cannot find on line or on this forum.

 Colleagues on SGL will often highlight double stars which I have not looked at before, so they become targets next time I am out, or I continue to pick off the The Messier objects on my wall chart, all highly enjoyable if the seeing prevents  planetary  or Lunar enjoyment.  There is an abundance of grey smudges to find which always give me a thrill when located, even if I have done so in the past.  It has been said many times before by many people , but I just love looking through a telescope, particularly a long white tubed refractor, and finding ' objects '. 

 

Edited by Saganite
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Some interesting resources mentioned on this thread. One I have seen referenced a few times on SGL is the “Loughton List” - geared more towards those observing from light polluted areas. Well written. Found at:

https://las-astro.org.uk/docs/Loughton_List_v2_0.pdf
 

Loughton List.pdf
 

 

 

Edited by Astro_Dad
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Like others, I stoped buying AN and Sky at Night mags regularly some years ago..the only time I would buy one now would be at an airport shop to read before, or during a flight abroad..but that could just as easily be a motoring magazine too! I agree it's nice to physically have something to hold though..in my case a book these days.

Years ago these mags were the only source of colourful photos of exotic objects, and they instilled wonder, inspiration, even, to most amateurs. These days images like that can be found instantly online or on forums like this, and tbh, the "wonder" factor has been diluted, for me at least.

My biggest inspiration these days comes from looking through my scopes, whether at tiny point sources of light on clusters, globulars or the Milky Way, a sparkling half moon, the planets and brighter nebulae. Not a "grey smudge" man myself, but fully respect those who do like them, and also our imaging colleagues who deserve kudos for persevering in looking at laptop screens for hours on end..each to their own👍😊

Dave

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7 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

Like others, I stoped buying AN and Sky at Night mags regularly some years ago..the only time I would buy one now would be at an airport shop to read before, or during a flight abroad..but that could just as easily be a motoring magazine too! 

I usually buy the Economist, Dave. Can’t beat their articles:

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9 hours ago, F15Rules said:

My biggest inspiration these days comes from looking through my scopes, whether at tiny point sources of light on clusters, globulars or the Milky Way, a sparkling half moon, the planets and brighter nebulae

Me too Dave. And without wishing to divert the thread, I think one area where astrophotography can never capture the visual experience is with doubles and clusters. Those perfect little pinpricks of light just can’t be recreated on paper or screen (yet!). I do like the challenge of tracking down faint fuzzies, but I’m not that turned on by the myriad of faint galaxies in the spring - that’s when I bring  out the EAA kit! 

Edited by RobertI
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